Nasal valve reconstruction is a surgery that’s performed to fix a nasal valve collapse, which is a cause of nasal blockage, mouth breathing, snoring, and sleep apnea. 

What is the nasal valve?

The nasal valve is the passageway that air flows through during inhalation. It is composed of the entrance of your nose, just past the nostrils. This narrow path slows the flow of air, giving your body time to clean, humidify and warm the air before it enters your lungs. 

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Nasal valve collapse:

How does it happen?

Nasal valve collapse occurs when the cartilage on either side of the nose weakens and collapses during inhalation. This collapse restricts air flow, causing snoring and mouth breathing. This can happen after rhinoplasty, when the cartilage has been narrowed for aesthetic purposes. Or, it can develop due to nasal trauma, fracture, a congenital defect, aging, or a deviated septum.


  • Difficulty inhaling through the nose
  • A pinched nasal appearance while breathing in
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sleep apnea
  • Snoring

A custom approach to nasal valve repair

During your private consultation at our Austin office, we will examine your nasal structures and help you understand your treatment options. For most patients, nasal valve surgery is performed with a piece of cartilage to stent open the valve and restore proper breathing. 

However, there are other approaches available, depending on your needs. For example, we can use sutures to widen the angle of the nasal valve. Or, we may place a Latera nasal implant to fix the collapse. During your appointment, we will review all of these options with you and help you determine which technique is in your best interest. 

The procedure: 

What to expect

During nasal valve reconstruction, our goal is to correct your troubled breathing. To begin, incisions will be made within the nose, to prevent any visible scarring. From there, your surgeon will most likely graft cartilage from your ear or nasal septum to the internal and external nasal valves. To make room for the grafts, your surgeon may create a pocket within the nose. 

If a graft isn’t recommended, we may instead use sutures to support the existing cartilage and prevent a future collapse. Alternatively, we can place a Latera nasal valve implant instead to stent the valve open. 

The entire procedure takes about 45 minutes to complete. Once your nasal valve has been repaired, we will close the incisions and transfer you to recovery.

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You can expect to experience some minor discomfort during the first two days after nasal valve reconstruction. Nasal bleeding is also common, and crusting will be present at the incision locations. There may also be localized swelling on the exterior of the nose. All of these effects will gradually subside in about ten days.

Austin Face & Body


What is a Latera nasal valve implant?

The Latera nasal valve implant is FDA-approved to treat nasal obstruction. The implant is placed over the nasal valve area to support the lateral nasal wall and open the airway. The device lasts for approximately eighteen months, at which point it will absorb and dissolve. Left behind will be scar tissue formed by the body to keep the valve open.

What kind of anesthesia is used?

At Austin Face & Body, we usually perform nasal valve reconstruction under general anesthesia. However, some surgeries may be performed in-office under local anesthesia – such as the placement of the Latera nasal valve implant.

Will the surgery change my appearance?

Depending on the surgical technique used, your nasal appearance may change slightly around the nasal valve area. We will discuss any anticipated changes during your initial consultation at our Austin office.

Complementary procedures

The nasal valve area is surrounded by several important structures that often feature irregularities that can exacerbate your symptoms. When this occurs, it can be important to fix the adjacent issues at the same time as the nasal valve reconstruction, to optimize your breathing. 

For example, if your nasal septum is deviated or your turbinates are enlarged – both of these abnormalities can contribute to breathing challenges and discomfort. Correcting them is an important step in ensuring that you’re satisfied after surgery. During your private consultation and examination, we will let you know if these additional procedures are recommended. 

Providers who perform Nasal Valve Reconstruction at Austin Face & Body

Dr. Jeanie Lujan

Dr. Lujan is an American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) fellowship-trained surgeon specializing in both cosmetic and reconstructive facial plastic surgery.

Dr. Jeanie Lujan »

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